Trade Deadline Madness
Playing matchmaker, Pt. 2.
So Wednesday, I wrote about how your average fan is terrible at coming up with a reasonable trade rumor because it always is ridiculously beneficial to only their team. I gave an example of a ridiculous homer trade rumor for my favorite team and got to see it discussed as an actual trade rumor, which kind of made my day.
But the point was that most fans can’t discern the real trade rumors from the ridiculous ones because they don’t enjoy the kind of inside access that I do. As you well know, dissatisfied big-name players are well within their rights to complain about their situation and demand a trade. In fact, they can even do it the season before they win an MVP award. Hey, fans will tolerate pretty much anything except refusing to give up $1 million your team promised you.
That’s all common knowledge. What you may not know is that players who are unhappy occasionally leak their wishes to members of the media. As such an insider, I received a few interesting emails from prominent players. At great personal risk, I now share them with you.
Re: They broke up the trifecta, get me out of the tri-state area
Dear Mr. Krolik,
I need for you to help me get out of New Jersey. I thought we were going to be out of here in a year or two, but apparently the economy did something my coach described as “Pull a 2004 model Vince Carter” and we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Now I’m playing surprisingly high-level ball, but I’m not the main offensive weapon on my own team anymore, we’re not going to make a playoff run anytime soon, and nobody seems to notice me anymore: I didn’t even get the most All-Star votes for a swingman on my own team, and Yi won’t let me forget it—he demands I call him “The Real Dr. Funk” unless I get more votes than he does. It’s been a while since I was on a great team, but I’ve always gotten the ball and we’ve always been exciting, especially me—remember that slam on Alonzo? Now I’m just standing around and watching Devin Harris. Please, let me blow minds again.
G/F Vince Carter
SF Bobby Simmons
C Shaquille O’Neal
How and Why:
After a weekend spent drinking and watching the Georges St. Pierre fight, Steve Nash and Bryan Coangelo decide they want to give the dream one last shot. After a grand reshuffling, a merciful return to broadcasting for Steve Kerr, and tearful reunion with Mike D’Antoni and Marc Iavaroni, the Suns bring back their glorious style of play with Nash/Richardson/VC/Grant Hill/Amare.
Meanwhile, a skeptical Shaq is originally enticed by the prospect of being reunited with a Wade -esque sidekick in All-Star Devin Harris. It’s only after he gets the first season of The Wire and The Sopranos that he really gets excited about the deal, quickly getting an honorary post at the local PD, re-naming himself “Detective ShaqNulty,” and pursuing a wire-tap case in an attempt to bring down the mafia.
Vince goes to the Warriors for Jamal Crawford and Ronny Turiaf. Returning to the site of his greatest triumph and one of the great moments in dunking and a fast-paced style, Vince is rejuvenated and starts throwing massive hammers down again. Not only does he jump over a big man for a dunk again, Don Nelson installs it as a set play with him and Andris Biedrins.
Re: I ask for so precious little
Everybody knows that my style is impetuous, and I’m destined to be a #1 offensive option. That jerk D’Antoni wanted to use me to only shoot if I was open and never on the move. He made use of my athleticism on off-ball cuts and crushing alley-oops. He took advantage of my wingspan and strength to play an effective, but undersized, 4 so I could free-up space for an impossibly dynamic and fun-to-watch team. That jerk made me as valuable as humanly possible.
Everybody knows I’m a classic 3-man and scorer—look at the kids on the playground, they’re all trying to copy Shawn Marion’s moves. I was always the best player on that team, and I have a number of formulas who will vouch for me on that. Now I have to deal with being in Miami and playing with Dwyane Wade every night. Not only am I still not allowed to handle the ball and fire up pull-up jumpers, they’re grooming this Beasley kid to replace me! Help me out, man. The max salary isn’t enough for me to put up with the misery I’ve endured.
Re: Get me away from this man
I’m actually playing pretty decent basketball, but I don’t get the impression I’ve gotten a full mandate from my coach. I keep getting back to my locker to find that my bags have been packed, coach kept hosting parties at his house for Texas football games, and guards have to run our windsprint drills under a 6-foot tall metal bar. Also, when DJ misses defensive rotations he doesn’t get pulled, but when I gamble for a steal I get locked in the Right Way Box for a few hours. Also, coach gives his weekly “best UNC grad” award to Sean May every week. Please Help Me.
From: Northridge Hospital
Dear Mr. Krolik,
We are informing you on behest of Gerald Wallace that he would also like to be traded; this may have something to do with the message we received last night from Larry Brown addressed to Mr. Wallace that read, quote, “Hey buddy, so nice of you to take that little vacation while your teammates were in double overtime last night. Slack off on your own time, not on my court. And don’t try and fool me-last I checked, you have TWO lungs, so spare the drama. Breathe the Right Way.”
G/F Gerald Wallace
PG Raymond Felton
SF Adam Morrison
F Shawn Marion
How and Why:
Dwyane Wade gets someone to guard the other team’s best perimeter player and someone who can run and slash on the weak side. Shawn Marion’s defense and versatility are beloved by Larry Brown, who can use Marion and Diaw’s strengths to cover each other’s weaknesses. Marion gets to play in Carolina for Larry Brown as penance for begging off the Suns. Adam Morrision is included to match up the salary and since the people demand a reality show with Adam Morrison going to the beach and trying to pick up chicks.
“So, any of you ladies college basketball fans?”
“No, but I’ve been to some Heat games. Who are you?”
“How do you feel about Metallica?”
Re: HOW DARE YOU YOU M***********G A** F*** LITTLE SON OF A
LISTEN UPPPPPPP! AAAAAARGH! HOW DARE YOU TRY AND MENTION MY (expletive deleted) TEAMMATES IN TRADE RUMORS THEY ARE MY BROTHERS WE ARE SPARTANS LIKE AAAAAAAAARGH I DARE YOU TO TRY AND TRADE SOMEONE YOU (expletive deleted) I KNOW YOU DON’T RESPECT US BUT WE WILL OVERCOME YOUR DOUBTS AND DO IT. IN FACT YOU (expletive deleted) SINCE YOU WANT TO TAKE OUR SOULS WHILE WE (expletive deleted) SLEEP SO BADLY BUT YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW I BOUGHT ME SOME (expletive deleted) ELF DUST I GROUND IT MYSELF WITH MY TEETH IT TASTED LIKE CHALK. CHALK IS DELICIOUS I TOUGHT MYSELF TO LOVE IT. IN FACT I DARE YOU TO TRADE ME. I WILL GO TO NEW ORLEANS AND STEAL BACK JAMES POSEY’S MAGICAL TWO-TONE MOUTHGUARD OF INTANGIBLES YOU THINK I CANT DO IT I KNOW THE COMBINATION WE WILL BEAAT THE OOOODS AND WELL TEACH ALL OF YOU A LESSON WELL SEE WHOS LAUGHING AFTER KG COMES FOR YOU AND ALL WHO THOUGHT WE COULDNT DO IT WILL KNOW WHAT IT IS TO SUFFER.
Sorry, that just turned up in my inbox. But while we’re here, KG legitimately has lost his mind, right? I think winning a championship on a stacked 65-win team as the highest paid player in basketball after facing impossible odds his whole career was just too much for his brain to handle.
There are plenty of athletes who have been considered weird or even crazy, but not only has Kevin Garnett apparently legitimately lost his mind in an even more profound way; on the court, Ron Artest is usually fairly even-keeled, and even Dennis Rodman kept it under control most nights, but KG is doing his madman routine every night. But the odd part is that not only is he still a prominent player on a good team, he’s actually considered a leader and a good intangibles guy, even a model of what basketball players should be like.
Forget the isolated Calderon-type incidents—every night Kevin Garnett starts cursing out invisible people and banging his head against the stanchion. In the playoffs last year, TNT went to commercial while catching KG screaming “F*****G F****TS” at the top of his lung for no apparent reason. (It was as they were going to commercial, so it was actually in slow motion.) This year, I saw him pacing around and muttering “F*****G P*****S” fairly loudly to nobody before the opening tip.
To recap the Boston Sports Credo:
1. Try to embarrass people,
2. Curse at the top of your lungs at people who aren’t there, and
3. Try to stay in the state of mind of a violently insane human being to both opponents and teammates during games, all while still kind of disappearing in the clutch. Role Model.
Tearing everything in your knee and taking a few days off from rehab to spend time with your girlfriend who is a household name solely because of how ridiculously hot she is: Not Fit To Pick Up A Football. I’m pretty sure if Gisele wanted to feed me, I’d be able to let her and still consider myself a man. That’s just me.
Re: Enough Is Enough
People just can’t get over the fact I’m nowhere near the player I used to be. I haven’t shot over 43 percent since I’ve been in Houston, and my body can’t take an 82-game season anymore. At this stage in my career, I’m a good passer from the wing who’s a ridiculously low-percentage volume shooter and iffy defender who can’t stay on the court. But because I’m surrounded by talent and a good coach, people keep expecting me to step up and become something close to what I used to be. I’m not that guy anymore, but people won’t let me go. I’m at peace. Please, just get me out of the limelight.
C Brad Miller
G Bobby Jackson (Expiring)
F Shelden Williams (Expiring)
G Tracy McGrady
Done and Done.